Pajor Returns! Patalon announces Orlice squad

Poland Women’s coach Nina Patalon has named a 23-player squad for next month’s World Cup qualifiers against Armenia and Norway, as the Orlice hope to give themselves a fighting chance of a play-off spot for the tournament.

After the disappointing Pinatar Cup campaign, Patalon can welcome back star striker Ewa Pajor, after a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a knee injury. The VFL Wolfsburg frontwoman will be in line to make a 65th appearance with the White Eagle on her shirt. Pajor will be joined once again by Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Sylwia Matysik, who also missed out on the Spanish tournament through injury.

There is also a return to the squad for GKS Katowice’s Klaudia Maciążka, after impressive performances for the Silesian side in the Ekstraliga. She had been previously called up for the squad to face Norway and Albania in October, but was forced to withdraw. Fellow attacker Dominika Kopińska also returns, having last played for previous coach Miłosz Stępiński in 2020.

Though Karolina Gec misses out on the squad, and is instead called into the U19s team for their European Championship qualifiers, Patalon has deemed one youngster worthy of the call into the senior team. With six assists for Ekstraliga challengers Górnik Łęczna, eighteen-year-old Weronika Kaczor could be in line to make her senior international debut.

Sitting third in their six-team group, the Orlice require maximum points to stand any chance of qualifying for the World Cup. They currently sit two points behind second-placed Belgium, and five behind leaders Norway, with four games remaining.

Poland face Armenia in Gdynia on 7th April (20:15 CET kick-off), followed by Norway in Oslo on 12th April. The team will gather in Gdańsk on 4th April.

GOALKEEPERS: Katarzyna Kiedrzynek (VFL Wolfsburg, GER), Karolina Klabis (AZS UJ Kraków), Kinga Szemik (FC Nantes, FRA).

DEFENDERS: Adriana Achcińska (1. FC Koeln, GER), Zofia Buszewska (Czarni Antrans Sosnowiec), Paulina Dudek (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA), Katarzyna Konat (TME UKS SMS Łódź), Sylwia Matysik (Bayer 04 Leverkusen, GER), Małgorzata Mesjasz (Turbine Potsdam, GER), Anna Zapała (AZS UJ Kraków).

MIDFIELDERS: Dominika Grabowska (FC Fleury 91, FRA), Gabriela Grzywińska (Zenit St. Petersburg, RUS), Weronika Kaczor (Górnik Łęczna), Nikol Kaletka (Czarni Antrans Sosnowiec), Kinga Kozak (Czarni Antrans Sosnowiec), Klaudia Lefeld (Górnik Łęczna).

ATTACKERS: Nikola Karczewska (FC Fleury 91, FRA), Dominika Kopińska (TME UKS SMS Łódź), Klaudia Maciąźka (GKS Katowice), Natalia Padilla-Bidas (FC Servette, SUI), Ewa Pajor (VFL Wolfsburg, GER), Martyna Wiankowska (Czarnia Antrans Sosnowiec), Weronika Zawistowska (1. FC Koeln, GER).

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